I can hardly believe we have a FOUR year old. But somehow it’s true. Looking back on each of the other birthday posts I’ve shared, nearly all of them start with the same thing – “I can hardly believe…”. As a mother with little ones, practically every time I encounter a mother with middle school, high school, collage age or full grown children, they all share the same advice.”Soak it all in, treasure every moment, it goes by way too fast.” And while I know four is still little, I get it. It’s already going by so fast. TOO fast.
Before we get to the birthday stuff, can I have just a minute to be real and sentimental?
Our youngest is almost two and I just can’t believe how big they’re both getting. Yes, some days are long and hard with two toddlers. Like most little ones, ours are full of energy – excited about the new things they’re learning, ready to exercise their “authority”, and constantly pushing boundaries to see what’s allowed and what isn’t. But perhaps the biggest struggling is learning to treat others as they want to be treated and using their words to communicate and not their arms/hands. We struggle daily with learning to process and express our emotions in a positive way. I STRUGGLE DAILY with processing my own emotions in a positive way. It’s hard not to lose patience at times. It’s hard not to be frustrated when one little human you love hurts another little human you love. And sometimes the bickering and lack of listening seems to be endless.
BUT, they are so full of love and joy. So ready to laugh and delight in the little things of life. Little sponges just ready to soak up and learn any and every thing they can. So proud of themselves when they accomplish a new feat. So ready to see the pride and approval shining in our eyes as they display their new triumph. As much as they may bicker and quarrel at times, their love for one another is BIG. Their willingness to forgive and move on is unending. And that forgiveness extends to me as well, for the times I lose my patience and handle things poorly. They’re always ready to forgive, to love, to laugh, to move on with life. They teach me so much every single day. They are an immeasurable gift from Above and the fact that God chose us to be their parents is so humbling.
Okay, circling back to Brighton’s special day! 😂
As you can imagine, based on the cake, Brighton’s really in to Firemen and Firetrucks. Really anything heroic. He loves to play that he is the hero who’s come to save the day! For the past four years now, I’ve made the same cake for his birthday. A dense and moist chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and a chocolate buttercream frosting. Because really, can there be too much chocolate? Not in this house.
But this cake is my first attempt at working with fondant. I found an inspiration picture on Pinterest, researched a few homemade fondant recipes, settled on this marshmallow one and set to work. I definitely learned a thing or two and have a lot more to learn, but in the end the fondant wasn’t quite as intimidating as I expected. And while I was fully prepared for people to pull it off and potentially not eat it (fondant has never been my favorite with it’s chewier texture) several people surprised me by saying they really liked it and pretty much everyone ate it. 🙌🏻
I knew I wanted the overall cake to be white like the inspiration photo, so I had to depart from my traditional chocolate buttercream I’ve used the last several years (see here, here, and here) and instead go with a white chocolate buttercream. Which turned out to be a lovely complement. I’m still learning the art of successfully smoothing the buttercream. But this smoothing comb has been a tremendous help and is super affordable. I used it for one of Brighton’s best friend’s cake earlier this year, as well as an apple filled cake I made for my sister last year.
Outside of making Brighton a cake of his choice, we kept this affair pretty simple. Making sure he was surrounded by family and a few close friends. For a long time Brighton wasn’t a fan of traditional pizza, but as with most toddlers, he’s recently developed a pretty strong affection for it. Which made his party that much easier. I made the cake and ice cream along with a large salad and we ordered pizza. It was a day of fun and one he looked forwards to for weeks.
He’s pretty much mastered his balance bike so we got him a big-boy bike (with removable training wheels) and he was stoked! We literally just got back from riding it up and down the street, it still blows my mind to think I have a toddler old enough and big enough to ride that thing.
On a completely separate note, thanks to Facebook, I realized today marks 5 years in this house. When we bought this house back in 2014, I had dreams of what it would be like to raise our family here. And those dreams are happening day in and day out. They’re not always blissful, but I am so completely thankful for all the Lord has given us, including this house, our neighborhood and our special neighbors who have become dear friends. Feeling extremely grateful.